The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) is an African organisation working to "promote the use of FOSS and the FOSS model in African development."



FOSSFA has "its origin in the ICT Policy and Civil Society Workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia held between 6th and 8th November 2002." It "was founded under the auspices of the Bamako Bureau of the African Information Society Initiative within the mandate given by African Governments in 1995 to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)." (FOSSFA website, accessed 25 Sept 2015)

"In February 2003, FOSSFA was launched in Geneva, Switzerland during the second preparatory meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Since then a council for the foundation has been formed and renewed. The Council is the key decision-making organ of the same. FOSSFA's secretariat is based at the Meraka Institute in Tshwane, South Africa." (FOSSFA website, accessed 2008)

FOSSFA sponsored the IDLELO-3 conference in Dakar, Senegal in March 2008. It organises IDLELO conferences and "is the owner of all rights to IDLELO trademarks and proprietary material used in the marketing and holding of IDLELO events." (FOSSFA website, accessed 25 Sept 2015)

FOSSFA Mission:


  • Promotes the use of the FOSS model in African development.
  • Promotes the integration and adoption of FOSS in national policies
  • Coordinates Africa's Free Software efforts
  • Uses FOSSFA expertise to add value to FOSS initiatives in the continent
  • Acts as Africa's FOSS voice
  • Plays an interface role between international and continental FOSS efforts
  • Contributes FOSS applications towards the achievement of women empowerment, the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development in Africa.
  • Promotes African FOSS expertise, creativity and industry
  • Partners with development organizations who share same goals with FOSSFA" (FOSSFA website, accessed 25 Sept 2015)